EAST COAST : : SOUTH CAROLINA 3

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Zack discovered this odd drink at a gas station. The ingredients are aloe, honey, sugar, and water.

It’s not terrible. It has bits of aloe that remind me of dew drops, which was a surprise for us as we sipped our way to the bottom.

I will not be drinking it again, but it was one of those experiments that wasn’t a total bust.

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Hot mama, Mia, shoppin’ at the ‘ole Target. I should’ve purchased this hat for her, but as you can see, she was quick in pulling it off!

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Chipotle’. My favorite place to eat!

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We had lunch one day at Chipotle’, which seems random to include in this post, but it is my favorite restaurant and the girls were being adorable, imagine that…

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Cousins! Kari will always be the coolest person, wish I had more time with her.

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Amelia loves her Uncle Peter! Who wouldn’t love being lifted seven feet in the air? (Answer : : Penelope!) I do have to say though, Bink (My Aunt Anne), has her heart. Hope we can reunite those two again soon!

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We got to take Penelope to an arcade – she won enough tickets for a ballerina!

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Second cousins! They were so sweet to my girls, “Pamelia” and “Baby.” I could not be more grateful to these kids for giving my girls such a wonderful three days, full of nothing but love. Usually big kids aren’t so sweet to younger kids, but these two were beautiful!

EAST COAST : : SOUTH CAROLINA 2

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Friday we drove three hours to the beach, just to spend four hours there, and then drove three hours back to my uncle’s house. We do love us some ocean!

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I can’t help but smile when I see this grin! This hat didn’t last long. If she wasn’t pulling it off, the wind was blowing it off…

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Penelope, workin’ it on her very own runway.

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We spent quite some time on the pier. She kind of owned it.

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We stopped by a beach shop to grab some toys. Worth it.

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Penelope loved the water. She would say, “OH! Bubbles comin’! Less go!” and then squeal so loud as the water rushed over her feet, and followed it with giggles that literally exhausted her. It was awesome.

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Amelia immediately put this stick on her radar. Mama snatched it up and she darted towards two large shells. As I grabbed one and tossed it far far away, she scurried to put the second into her mouth…yum.

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We had yet to go to a beach with a baby as young as Amelia, and I doubt we will attempt it again. However if we do , we will definitely be bringing along a pack ’n play, baby toys, blankets, tons of water to wash ourselves off, chairs, and a tons of other junk, even if it means twenty trips to the car!

GO BEACH!

EAST COAST : : NORTH CAROLINA 4

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We went to Lazy 5 Ranch (a drive through zoo!!) in Mooresville yesterday. It was amazing!!

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As you can see, you can pet some animals (a.k.a. the ones that come over to see you.) They give you feed for them, so they are expecting it, but you may get to pet them even without food.

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Literal amazement.

She was watching  a wagon full of children being pulled by three Clydesdales. There was a school there that filled them up pretty quickly, so we would’ve had to wait a couple of hours for a ride, so we stuck with our trusty van.

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We thought Penelope would be terrified, but she enjoyed it so much! For instance, this ram above…”Come here! I need see you! Come here!”

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Every time a llama passed by I wanted to…well, throw up my lunch. They smell terrible, so if you go, beware and roll up your window. They are one of the animals that will lunge their face into your car to see what’s going on.

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(Deer –below- were ahead of us at another car.)

Penelope: “Deer, I comin’ for you!”

I think her fear of animals is no more. 🙂

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“Come here. I pet you nose?”

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My daughter, ladies and gentlemen, pettin’ a deer like a boss.

(This was actually like her tenth time petting an animal here.)

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#2214 was a sweetheart.

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We were past all of the animals we could see for the moment, and she thought our trip was over. We were only half way done, it just so happened no animals were around this particular area. (All of the animals roam free with one another, except the giraffes and rhino.)

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I think these bucks were practicing. A third one joined in after this photo was taken.

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She was yelling at the rhino, “Come here! I take pisher of you!”

The rhino paid no attention to her, but couldn’t come over to us anyway.

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It was fun, and worth the trip!

*(If you live near Mooresville, and you go, it’s cash only. They are open year round, with the exception of Christmas day.)

EAST COAST : : NORTH CAROLINA 3

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Zack, the girls and I had the privilege of meeting up with some of my favorite people in the entire world Wednesday evening! The kind of people you can’t help but smile the instant they cross your mind.

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They chose the place – and for those of you who don’t know, choosing where to eat is the greatest gift you could ever give to me – seriously!

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We got there early…this is how we passed the time. 🙂 There were at least twenty of these bad boys.

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Almost got ahold of this crisp new crayon…

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This is the look (“The Candace”) Amelia gave Eddie for a solid chuck of our visit – as you can see from the photo before this one, she warmed up to him eventually.

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I used to babysit this gorgeous girl when I was her age and she was Penelope’s age!

I wish we could move back here if for no other reason than to hangout with this family full-time!

We love you O’Hayre’s! I hope we can visit you again soon.

EAST COAST : : THE BETWEENS

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Here are some photos from the Canon I completely forgot about. Photos of our trip from Tennessee to Charlotte and bits of the girls lounging around before we leave the house to visit friends.

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We passed through beautiful towns, full of character, bridges and tons of lakes and rivers!

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It has rained off and on our entire trip. Just sprinkles. Most of our journey through the mountains looked like the photo above. Zack and I could never tire if trees, blue sky, and mountainous views!

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This baby doll has been amazing! She is patience, pleasant, and so so happy!

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Our mornings have been very laid back. Penelope is enjoying cartoons before she gets ready for the day, and Amelia enjoying discovering every nook and cranny of Aunt Sarah’s house. Mama ‘enjoys’ running after her exclaiming “NO! NOT THAT!” multiple times in a thirty minute period. Never gets old.

It just dawned on me that I might have to take advantage of having a Chick-fil-a so close – off to find me some breakfast!!

EAST COAST : : SOUTH CAROLINA

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We visited my cousin today! Last time I saw her family her oldest, now about to turn four, was two months old. It was as if we spend time with her everyday. It was so good to see her and her beautiful boys!

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Guess who found the tools…

“I fix it!”

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Wanna save money on toys?

1. Buy one Caprisun

2. Drink it

3. Remove straw

4. Give the package to your baby

5. Don’t purchase another toy until he / she is done teething

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Coop & Penny – To sum up their relationship I’ll share a quote from each of them: :

Mr. Coop: : “Lets have another adventure!”

Miss. Penelope: : “Hey boy!”

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Volree treated us to a delicious supper at McAlister’s!

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This boy is cooler than cool! Calm, tidy, and the biggest sweetheart.

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I wish these two lived closer to one another. Although, maybe the world isn’t ready for that level of cute full time!

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3-2-1-“MIA!”-Place hat on head – snap photo immediately! Ta-Da!

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I ordered Volree’s favorite, Tortilla soup and Savannah salad, and I will be ordering it every time I visit a McAlister’s! So good!

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Penelope totally licked the top of this salt shaker…sorry following costumer, I cleaned it as well as I could…

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Penelope and Parker “high-paddin’ ” it up.

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Volree’s friend bought all of the kids cake pops- it was Penelope’s first cake pop and first taste of chocolate cake. She was pretty happy. 🙂

Thank you so much for spending your evening with us Volree! Hope we can do it again soon!

EAST COAST : : NORTH CAROLINA 2

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Why is it Chick-fil-a sounds best on a Sunday morning?? Second best idea? Donuts before church!

We went to Sarah’s church with her and Chris – Elevationmost amazing church experience! I could not talk this church up enough. Visit the site, and check it out. Amazing!

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Afterwards we ate lunch at Bad Daddy’s Burgers. Delicious! Their homemade chips with pimento dip was so so good! – and the actual burgers were just as great!

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Penelope enjoying her giant bowl of fruit.

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I’m sure some of you recognize this place. We headed on over to the Billy Graham Library. It was beautiful, and so well done! We had a such a good time, and Miss Penelope enjoyed “Bessy” – the animated cow at the beginning of the tour. We had to stop over to see her again on our way out.

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Afterwards we did some shopping at REI and Barnes and Noble. This magic happened while Mama hunted for new children’s books.

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Sarah watched the ladies while Zack and I snuck out for a date. Movie night!

Tomorrow I get to see my cousin, Volree, and meet her boys! Penelope has been asking, “Where cousins go?” Pretty stoked I have an answer for her tomorrow!

EAST COAST : : NORTH CAROLINA

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We made it into Charlotte later than we planned. (We just couldn’t resist sleeping in at the hotel.) It was an absolutely gorgeous drive.

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We were welcomed with delicious (gigantic!) pizza!

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Penelope was pretty happy to see her…just a bit. 🙂

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So so glad we have more days with her!!

Thank you for sharing your home and time with us, Sarah! OH, and for giving us a date night while we’re here!

EAST COAST : : TENNESSEE

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We spent Friday and Friday night in Tennessee. We have only stayed in a hotel when we have visited St. Simons Island (Hooray for welcoming family!!), so Penelope wasn’t sure what to think of it. She quickly found it amazing. A pool, fun breakfast, giant beds…what’s not to like.

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We managed to spread a nine hour trip (from Missouri to our Tennessee destination) into a thirteen hour trip! Penelope is a pro-traveler, but we were concerned about how Amelia would take the news that she would have to be in a car seat so long. We set her up with a “big-girl seat” for the first time. She is so stinkin’ happy! She smiles constantly and giggles when we strap’er down! The girls haven’t complained once! Maybe by the time we head home they will have had enough. Amelia loves traveling as much as the rest of us – Halleluiah!

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Zack found the bed within the first ten seconds of entering the hotel room…

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…Penelope did too. 🙂

“Mommy, my sweepin’!!”

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Amelia found fifty new things to climb on.

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We spent the afternoon with my cousin, who the girls took to right away.

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Amelia looking just like Daddy!

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We went out for supper with my Aunt Nancy. Last time I saw her I was in middle school!

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Penelope dancing on Anoria’s lap.

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Amelia and her new best friend.

She has never taken to someone so quickly. Usually people at least get a good lookin’ over before she allows Mama to hand her off. She snuggled right away, lying her head on Aunt Nancy’s shoulder. Maybe because she is so much like Grandma Penny.

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I awoke to Penelope tickling my back! Such a cutie. Amelia…not ready to get up. That is a tag from her pants (on her belly). It was quite a fight (Zack and I working together had trouble!) putting such snug fitting leggings on her, I wasn’t about to turn those bad boys around!

Now we are in Charlotte! I can’t wait to see more wonderful people!

Snapshots: : 18

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It has been such a great week! Full of family, fun and relaxation.
Grandma Penny made Penelope this crown from a cereal box, and twine – reason #174 Grandmas are better than Mama.
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Ben was here!!! He had some quality niece time. Anything better than a mushy baby asleep in your arms? I think he would answer, “Nope!”

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Penelope went on and on about the balloons at the wedding. I have yet to attend a wedding that was as fun for children as Joe and Meg’s.
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We spent an evening at Aunt Teresa and Uncle “Gweg’s” house. Anna and the girls were down from Seattle. Penelope is still saying “Where my friends go?” We will miss you, Anna, come back soon!
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We have spent just about every morning, afternoon, and evening on our deck enjoying our patio table. Once again, despite her expression, Amelia enjoys it too. 🙂
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I found Amelia and Zack like this when I woke up this morning. Why won’t she do this for me?
I will leave you with one last photo, proving my girls don’t always cooperate for photos (Well, A proves this on a regular basis)…
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This was the best shot of her posing in front of the Ozark Mountains. She did it on purpose.
Hope everyone’s week is going well!